A School for the Future
An OPEDUCA-based School
Following the perspective of the individual learner and the concept of ESD-based Education, teachers developed an OPEDUCA-based based on their practical insights and experience. Like the vision and concept are a merger of educational practice, science and insights from industry, an OPEDUCA-based School emerged from a transdisciplinary insight. Over the years the schools was developed and described in ever more detail, every element successfully tested in daily practice across the Netherlands and 16 other countries.
As long as we keep students in relative close isolation in x-minute lessons, within walls that limit their freedom to move, teach them subjects as though it are separate blocks of 'knowledge' and merge them with 25 ore more in apparently homogeneous groups, one can hardly expect optimal results from education. Those creating OPEDUCA understood and took a stand.
We will step by step introduce the outlines and working of an OPEDUCA-based School in the course of 2022, beginning by sharing the understanding we differ between Learning, Education, Schooling and the System, see the opportunity to create Open Educational Area/regions, belief in the direct and continuous participation of industry and prioritise the professionalisation of teachers towards Educators.
As practice proofed, an OPEDUCA-based School can not be realised by cherry picking, aiming at low hanging fruits - like one can't jump a canyon halfway. The OPEDUCA-concept builds on essentials, ‘strips off’ present day restrictions, re-thinks values and goals, is challenging and demanding. Being entirely student- and future focussed, an OPEDUCA-based school continuously adapts and where possible improves the learning environment it facilitates.
Especially those coming from the field of ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) should understand OPEDUCA goes far beyond listing 'new' competences and a so called 'whole school approach'. Vision, concept and instrumentarium are based on learning in the interest of the student, not in service of the system in place.
Building back from justified criticism
Arising from the Ashes
In the years the OPEDUCA-project took off as a citizens initiative (2004-2007) we found schools, also justly, criticised and, unfairly, trampled on, ill equipped to properly defend themselves. Schools had become executors of outdated education suffering under layers of interference, preachers of innovations and waves of change - many turning themselves into richly decorated Christmas-trees to apparently keep up with expectations. Therewith also hiding school leaders' and teachers' incompetence, many finding themselves between a rock and a hard place - schools being regarded obsolete while ever more was requested of them.
Back then, and now still, the educational system presents an unconnected series of school-levels around which policies, priorities and consultancy swarms. A cacophony of 'innovators', acting as 'preachers of change' eroding schools' transition capacity as they incur ever more 'waves of change' that eventually flood the schools' shorelines and wash away own initiative. A school in OPEDUCA should be ready to face and withstand the continuous flood of educational reforms and commercially driven improvements outsiders seek to impose on them.
Not surprisingly, we found school leaders, teachers and students can see and grasp opportunities to change their school from within as they found common ground to stand on while holding on to their unique profile - ability and capacity obviously prerequisites for transition.
Although the OPEDUCA Project originally did not intend to continue towards the integral change of schools, in practice it came to be regarded as a first-class innovation given its integral and coherent approach. On these pages we will gradually share characteristics and organisational aspects of an OPEDUCA-based School. When and how schools are considered to become involved in the course of the 2nd phase of OPEDUCA (2022-2025) will be communicated through the regular channels as well as on this page. Schools seeking information upfront are welcome to contact us.
Randomly selected, we present some examples from early practice.